“Don’t sit back and let life happen to you. Go grab what you want, whatever it is.”
Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, Skype all the time, regularly send each other presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.
There’s just one problem…Hannah and Nick have never actually met.
Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she’s supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker at school, she decides to finally break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Vegas, with her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-a-friend feelings for him.
Hannah’s romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and meets Nick’s girlfriend, whom he failed to mention to Hannah for the past three months. And it turns out his relationship status isn’t the only thing he’s been lying to her about. Hannah knows the real Nick can’t be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.
Music and contemporary novel are always a good combination. They never failed to entertain me and In Real Life is no exception. I basically read the whole book straight for few hours. I was so invested in it even though I am positive that I already know how the story will end.
Hannah and Nick are both like-able characters. Even Hanna’s frustrates me sometimes with her indecisiveness, I still root for her. Her friendship with Nick is not only sweet but also endearing, something that you want to have on your own. Because sometimes having someone who knows you more than you know yourself is really handy.
Hanna’s and Nick friendship though started online is anything but superficial. Their friendship like any relationship develop through constant communication, sharing, caring, understanding and more. It shows that strangers we meet every day on the other side of our screens are also human beings –real people that we can know and trust eventually.
Jessica Love successfully delivers a realistic story in In Real Life. Though Hannah and Nick’s situation is anything but common their friendship and care for each others rings true. They reminds me of my friend who also have a long distance relationship with someone she never met in person yet. Sometimes I can’t help but picture my friend and her boyfriend in some of Hannah and Nick’s situation. Some of Hannah and Nick’s experiences and dialogues are things and words I already heard before from my friend, which simply means that Jessica successfully portray a realistic story of long distance relationship. Even I am not exactly and never been in any of the characters situation I can easily relate and understand them.
The whole Vegas trip reminds me of my travel to Macau two years ago with all the casinos, pubs and hotels. My experience though not exactly the same with Hannah basically tug some strings from memory lane. Like when casino stuffs asked for my ID/passport because they thought I was too young to enter the vicinity or when my friend and I tried to reach another hotel through walking but end up taking a cab because our destination is not exactly as near as we thought it is. Even I am not exactly eager to go to Vegas right now, I can still say that Jessica successfully written a realistic settings and relate-able experiences.
The ending though satisfying left me wanting for more. More specifically the full lyrics of the song “Hunted” and if there’s a melody too, much better. I really want to hear the whole song if not the whole album of Automatic Friday. I hope Jessica write and share it to us someday, like a bonus chapter or something. But for the mean time, I will just listen to the playlist that Jessica shared during my interview with her for the In Real Life Blog Tour.
With interesting and diverse cast of characters, endearing romance, Vegas adventure and fun scenes, In Real Life is a quick, hugely enjoyable and absorbing read. Jessica Love successfully delivery a story that will surely appeal to fans of music centered YA readers.
* This review is based on an eBook I received courtesy of the publisher, Thomas Dunne Book, an imprint of St. Martin’s Griffin via NetGalley.
P.S. Check my interview with author Jessica Love for In Real Life Blog Tour with playlist and giveaway!